The list of reasons we love content is long, but topping the list is the fact that content gives you more bang for your buck, it works, and it’s iterative.
The iterative nature of content doesn’t get enough attention, but it’s of tremendous value to marketers. Unlike more traditional marketing and advertising tactics, content’s digital nature enables marketers to try things, succeed and/or fail, learn, tweak and try again. It’s basically a six-stage process.
Stage One: Strategize
Here’s where you plan the stories you’ll tell, the mediums you’ll use to tell them, and the platforms you’ll use to promote them. You’ll focus on the fundamentals of good content, like understanding your audience, keeping your business goals in mind, and ensuring your message is unique enough to stand out. The strategy phase involves things like content audits, mapping out audience journeys, and creating editorial calendars that account for your segmentation, ratio, and branding plans.
Stage Two: Create
Now it’s time to execute your plans and develop your videos, content hubs, podcasts, whitepapers, infographics, newsletters, blog post … you get the gist. The content you produce will be more effective if you keep it authentic, unique, informative and/or entertaining, and on brand.
Stage Three: Share
The share stage will work best if you pair your inbound tactics with outbound tactics. We’re huge fans of email—it’s the most effective and efficient outbound strategy—so we always advise pairing a good email campaign with your social platforms to launch your terrific content into the world.
Stage Four: Amplify
With your content in the public sphere, it’s time to use tactics like paid social and influencer marketing to amplify your content. By this stage you’ll have some metrics to help you know which bits of content seem to be working best. Those are the stories to amplify. You’ll learn even more as you push your amplification strategy.
Stage Five: Monitor
It’s time to analyze those metrics and figure out what is and isn’t working, what content people are responding to, and what isn’t driving engagement. Here’s a primer on metrics that matter if you’re in need.
Stage Six: Iterate
So you know what pieces of content are driving engagement, brand lift, and ROI. Now just adjust, do more of what is working, reframe or drop what isn’t, and start the cycle again.
Creating strong relationships with target audiences online takes patience and a big tub of elbow grease, but it’s worth it.